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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Freedom of the press

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." 

-- Edward R. Murrow

Originally posted in October, 2009

Should we have free access to information or be made to pay for it? Would that create a wealthy elite running a country of easily let sheep? Do you believe in the free flow of information or should it be controlled and limited? How about blogging, text messages, Twitter, FaceBook, and other social media? Does it bother you that those who write may not know what the heck they are writing about? Or that others can spy on you and access the information even years or decades later? Is the media dead and dying? How do you feel about the loss of newspapers and the trained journalists they employ? Or the evolution and changes from journalism to entertainment news?

What will be the impact of media convergence? What are the trends shaping what you think you know, where it comes from and who decides what is the truth? What direction will our right to information take? Or will we lose it as a right, replaced by a privileges for the wealthy or educated elite who are willing to pay for information? What would happen if we lost free access to information, and the ability to reason and make decisions based on open and accessible information? What happens to society if we stop the free flow of news and needed information?

It has long been said that students do not consider anything that happened before they were born worth studying and learning about. But time should be spending covering and learning about societies where information was carefully controlled, crafted and manipulated. From William Randolph Hearst in the US, and the Spanish-American war, to Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin’s masterful use of propaganda, modern societies have shown themselves a susceptible to being lead and misinformed by, and gladly believing and following those who decide what is right, or true or worthwhile. We face that same reality if we do not defend our freedom of information, speech and ability to seek our divergent, contradictory and even controversial ideas, thoughts and versions of reality.

Free speech must be defended, and open and diverse professional news media, the rights of citizens to report and share news and ideas and our ability to make our own decisions, in the ballot box, in court rooms, in our everyday lives. Informed decisions.

This was written in November, 2009 and updated several times up to and including the posting you are reading.


Ann Bloom said...

I happen to believe that the written word is being lost on many of today's youth. In the respect that so few read little more than they have to to get by.
The excess of information available should never be held from anyone, the right to an educated chance in life should be mandatory however; the accuracy of information should never be left to question. In my opinion, Face book and twitter are the drowning pool for many self-idolizing, narcissistic individuals that crave all eyes on them. With the mechanical first, second, and third meetings instead of the personal interaction of face to face, people become disingenuous to situations and others feelings or simply know no better. I'm not sure which is worse.

Amber said...

This is something thats happened before I think even in this country. Maybe not because of only one thing available to read, but only one opinion being read. We need to stand up for our right for information and accuracy of information, except in places like blogs and social networks, those are places for opinion and I would never look there for a source of reliable information.
-Amber Fearon

carla parker said...

Technology is great, but it has taken away from personally meeting someone, and talking face to face. Iam glad that I am old enough to where I have hand written love notes from my husband. Communication is just out there for all to hear and read, there is no more privacy. I have been harassed for years from my ex husband getting information on me on the internet, I cannot hide from and abusive person. There is no quiet domain anymore for me. Freedom of speech leaves alot of room open for people to destroy and kill off other careeres or marriages and not be held accountable for. ie, Jose Canseco

Carla Parker

Anonymous said...

With blogs, special interests web sites, false sites pretending to be what they are not, advertiser supported points of view rather than open communication, we are beyond a fair, open and honest media. We are now consumers who believe what we want to because someone else sells us on it.

What Democracy?